Category Archives: ELAR

Cool Tech 4 Kids to Beat the Heat: Part 3.1: I Like Books

Given a few weeks off from work, I find myself fighting the summer battle between personal todo lists and keeping up with blogging and technology trends. Oftentimes, it is just easier to compose another blog entry (as I have quite the running and growing list of topics) rather than shift gears and begin sorting and uploading photographs for another scrap-booking project. That is why I was elated at the premise of melding the two loves.

There have been quite a few digital album deals I have had to pass on due to insufficient time to locate, assemble, and upload images to a site and then organize said images into a digital album (not much on the auto-fill option as I am a bit of a perfectionist).

I have been wanting to create a Cousin book for some time now to assemble photos from all of the events my son and his cousin have shared together over these 4 years. When Snapfish offered their “buy 1 get 2 free” deal, I knew this was my opportunity. Though I knew I wanted to create a cousin-themed digital album, I was unsure of how the book would flow…

Grasshopper Apps: I Like Series

Then I remembered the I Like Book series on the iPad: a fabulous iPad/iPod series that highlights a single topic (e.g.  I Like School, I Like Summer, I Like My Sister, I Like Cats (paid), I Like Colors (paid), etc…). I had inadvertently been given my charge: to create an “I Like My Cousin” digital book with each page highlighting a shared event or moment (e.g. I like riding a camel, I like Grammy’s toys, I like trains, I like Grampy’s rocking chair, I like the beach, I like Easter egg hunts etc…).

The beauty of the I Like Books is that they focus on one-two image(s) per page and provide a highly engaging, simplistic, repetitive text that is perfect for readability and fluency (they also offer a read to me/read to myself option where text is highlighted). Consider reading the I Like series with your child and even venturing into the LAZ readers by ReadSmart Mobile. These iPad/iPod apps are leveled reader books that focus on a wide variety of topics (e.g. Making Pizza, Art Around Us (paid), Going Places (paid), Bananas Sometimes, Busy at School (paid), A Week with Grandpa (paid), Places People Live (paid), and I Fly Hot Air Balloons: interview (paid). While they do not have a “read to me” feature (one can always turn on the VoiceOver accessibility feature found in the general settings if you so desire narration), they do include definitions and are perfect for early readers Kindergarten through third grade (with promise of advanced reading levels in the near future).

I Like My Cousin: Snapfish Book

While many digital albums are created to mimic and serve the same purpose as a traditional photo album, I wanted this book to become a treasured family classic read and requested at bedtime time and time again.
Most digital album resources will allow you to create books (and many can be shared online). My favorites are Mixbook, Shutterfly, Picaboo, Snapfish, and Walgreen’s. All of these sites offer deals quite frequently and the books can be used as gifts or for your personal library.

I Like Feeding Giraffes

Here are a few suggested themes/topics to get you started:

  • I Like: I Like Summer, I Like Water, I Like Traveling, I Like Colors, I Like Dinosaurs, I Like the Magik Theater, I like the Farmer/s Market, I Like Gruene, I Like Cheerleading
  • LAZ Reader: Making Birthday Cake, Going to Schlitterbahn, What I Learned at VBS or Summer Camp

The beauty of melding literacy with your family stories and memories is young readers already have background information and familiarity with the content so they feel a greater comfort and desire for reading the books. Such a great treasure to create for your little ones or a wonderful collaborative project for a parent and an older child. Read the books over and over with your child highlighting anecdotes and memories the images conjure up. What a great tradition.

Stay Tuned over the next couple of weeks for additions to Part 3: More eBooks and Part 4: Storytelling. Did you miss Part 1: Imaginative Play & Games or Part 2: Virtual Vacation?

If you missed Summer Technology 4 Kids on Social Geek Radio, you can now download the episode in iTunes.

Please comment with your favorite I Like Books themes or other sites for making digital books.

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Cool Tools 4 Kids, ELAR, iPad


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Today’s Meet

Todays Meet is a Web 2.0 tool that is free, requires no logins, and works off of any iDevice. It allows teachers to instantly create a virtual room for students to speak up. The tool can be used for discussions, brainstorming, preflecting, formative assessment, and even exit tickets. Responses are limited to 140 characters or less (much like Twitter). This type of online response is considered micro-blogging due to the size of the post.

myspace graphic is done on
Make your own animation

Other Ideas for Todays Meet:

  • Pop-Up Discussion: Try spicing up an educational video clip by creating a Today’s Meet virtual room via mobile devices. Students could post questions and answers to the film as they go or could even highlight character traits, discover elements of light and dark imagery, discuss misconceptions and vocabulary, analyze quotes, practice Socratic questioning, summarize, or locate Shakespearean references (see Raise the Curtain & Raise the Bar post) – almost like a virtual dialectical notebook. VH1 used to do something similar with Pop-Up Videos and many television shows (the Voice which claims to be the “most digitally integrated show on television”) will run Twitter feeds at the bottom of the screen. Not only is this form of media engaging – it is a great way to track comprehension and to have an ongoing discussion.
  • Evaluate Posts: Todays Meet also allows you to print a transcript of the discussion which is wonderful for counting and evaluating posts. I even had a teacher print it out, black out the names, and use it for a starter the next day. Students were asked to evaluate the spelling and grammar in the posts. What a great extension!

Things to be mindful of:

  • Public Access: Because there are no logins, anyone with the url can access and contribute to the group (which could be good if you wanted to chat with another class in another district, city, around the world, etc… but not so good for other obvious reasons. This is why I typically only leave the room open for two hours.). 
  • Student Info protection: it may be wise to have students use names that are generic or give them a # to avoid having student information made publicly accessible.
  • Inappropriate Comments: There is no way to remove or delete the comment from the feed. This may worry some teachers but I liken it to a student blurting out an inappropriate comment in the classroom. There would be no way to delete this comment from the minds or ears of his/her fellow classmates either. I would handle this incident similarly to how a teacher would handle the student who blurted out in class.
  • Setting Ground Rules: Ground rules should be taught prior to conducting a Todays Meet discussion. Students should be give a purpose for the discussion and instructed to stay on topic, be respectful, and post quality not quantity. If you want your students to raise the discussion level, these guidelines should be set and reiterated prior to initiating the discussion.

Do not let these issues deter you from using the tool in your classroom. Just be vigilant and have a plan in place for tackling these issues if and when they arise. While the site is publicly accessible, I have had no issue with inappropriate use to this date.

Using Todays Meet with an iDevice: using Todays Meet in conjunction with a mobile device virtually eliminates many of the limitation issues of the tool in that the devices can be used in the classroom, lab, or an auditorium, and they provide more of a 1:1 solution. If using Todays Meet on an iDevice, the easiest way to approach this is to create a web clip to the Todays Meet site on each device and then have students launch the web clip and simply type in the name of the room after the url. This way if the room changes every two hours, students aren’t redirected to other rooms and the web clip will work all year in any classroom.

Check out this video from LearnitN5 for a quick tutorial and explanation

Check out some articles which reference how it is used in the classroom:

Interested in Web 2.0 tools for discussion? Check out Edmodo, Edistorm (this one is phenomenal – check out this video), LinoIt (works on iDevices), and
Below is a screenshot of the Todays Meet handout for the site and some supporting resources



Check out some of the responses from our Appy Hour via Today’s Meet!


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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in ELAR, iPad, Web 2.0


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HOT APPS for production: Raise the Curtain and Raise the Bar

Just experienced a presentation with Marco Torres (check out his alaslearns site) and felt inspired all over again. He shared some great apps for research, mind-mapping, and note-taking. Given some time to explore apps, I found some additional resources for producing & directing productions from the iPad. Let the show begin! (all apps listed are free unless otherwise stated)

I have been toying for some time on creating a lesson around modern day Shakespearean references found in music. I came across Sock Puppets today and absolutely fell in love. I decided to use it as the media for this project. (Notes about Sock Puppets: I love the sock puppets and backgrounds and the app is extremely easy to use. The only downside(s) are you can only record a 30 second show, if you talk too fast without pauses puppets will not open and close their mouths normally, and the upload to YouTube sometimes takes awhile. With in-app purchase, you have the ability to import your own photos as backgrounds, extend your recording time, and choose from more socks & props.) Found Sock Tube Presents in iTunes: these are vodcast parodies of feature films. Great inspiration and some fabulous ideas for how to handle props and staging if students choose to videotape their own socks vs. using the app – please view prior to showing to students to ensure content is appropriate as some tubes contain adult & mature content.

As mentioned in Puppet Pals lesson, there is a process to creating a final product. Below I have highlighted apps for each stage of the process. Also, consider the reason for the production: are you a teacher creating content for students or are you looking for a students centered project based on challenges, big ideas, and essential questions?

Research: While not all projects will necessitate research, some will require at least some background information. Check out some of these fantastic resources:

Qwiki Shakespeare

View William Shakespeare and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

Mind-Mapping & Note-taking: The first thing a student will want to do before creating a show is to get their thoughts on paper. Here are some great apps for mind-mapping:

SimpleMind+ Shakespeare planning

Ophelia Character Trait Popplet (Image created w/ Qvik Sketch)

Storyboarding & Scripts: Now you will want to make sure you have a solid script and a storyboard:
Acting & Practice Your Lines: No one wants an actor that hasn’t rehearsed unless you are practicing improv (and even that takes training). Check out some of these apps for learning your lines:
Production: How will you produce and what media will you use?
Submission: How will students submit their projects? If they are creating a video, these can be uploaded to You Tube and then embedded in a teacher website or blog. If students would like to submit images, scripts, presentations, and videos to one place, consider using an app:
  • Dropbox: You can create a Public Folder and still keep your shared files visible
  • iFiles: You can create documents with voice recordings too (this one is paid)
  • MobileMe iDisk: This will work with Mac accounts
All Shakespeare info compiled from Wikipedia, Blurtit, Brandon Powell, & Yahoo Answers
Consider extending the Shakespeare activity by asking the question, “How has Shakespeare influenced modern day society?”. Students can extend the web with more topics and descriptions:
  • Add more information about Shakespeare
  • Locate other Movie adaptations (compare & contrast)
  • Identify what play each of the listed movies is an adaptation of
  • Find more songs that have Shakespeare references
  • Identify the line in each of the songs listed that references Shakespeare and what play it originates from
  • Create a playlist for a Shakespeare act (explain why each song is relevant: mood, imagery, character traits, allusion, quotes, etc…)
  • Write a letter as if you were another Shakespearean character inquiring help or answers from Juliet (ala The Juliet Club in Verona). Write back some sage advice from Juliet.
If you don’t have an iPad, then you don’t have an iPad…. BUT you do have access to some wonderful Web 2.0 tools for production. Consider exploring Web 2.0 tools that utilize cartoons, animation, and/or movie-making.
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in ELAR, HOT APPS for HOTS, iPad


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HOT APPS for HOTS: Puppet Pals

Puppet Pals Activity

Puppet Pals is a fantastic app for any age level to create a show (a video) for almost any topic. While I have purchased the Director’s Pass upgraded version, the app itself is free. The Director’s Pass has 13 actor sets (each with 5 to 11 characters) with 3 backdrops for each actor set. The Director’s Pass is a one time fee and you will have access to all of the current sets as well as any future ones – a fantastic deal, if you ask me. The free version only furnishes a Wild West theme with 6 characters, 1 prop, and 3 backdrops.

When I first started planning this lesson, I was really stumped, how do you build a lesson (other than studying the gold rush, cliche cowboys, or the Wild West) around such a specific theme? Then it hit me! It wasn’t about the theme but the content. Puppet Pals Lesson (PDF Lesson)

So I put together this sample (and rough draft) video to highlight how the free version could be used to support the study of figurative language also seen below).

I have included the Henry & Henrietta.

After creating the video, I have a few “wise words of wisdom” (pardon the alliteration):

  1. Plan & Storyboard: Lay out your story in a storyboard or graphic organizer.
  2. Dialogue & Stage Direction: Make sure your dialogue is written and clear as to who speaks when (also what voice you will use for each actor), what actions the actors need to perform (e.g. move off screen, come closer, walk, appear on screen, turn, appear smaller, etc…), and what actions need to take place between scene changes (e.g. rearrange actors, have an actor move off stage or into the background).
  3. Group Assignments: If you are working in a group, you will want to assign parts and actors and plan accordingly. Not everyone may have an actor assignment. One person may be responsible for the changing of the backdrop or prop.
  4. Dress Rehearsal: Once your story is written, parts are assigned, and dialogue is rehearsed, you are ready to perform. I would suggest doing a dry run before recording (like a table read).

Slide to Perform: The Basics

  1. How to Select Characters: Tap “Press to Start”. Select actors by tapping on them (a green check mark will appear in the bottom of the actor when it is selected). Tap “Next”.
  2. How to Select Backdrops: Select backdrops by tapping on them (a green check mark will appear in the bottom of the actor when it is selected). Tap “Next”.
  3. How to Change Backgrounds while filming: For full screen image, change the orientation of your iPad to landscape (held horizontally).
  4. How to Turn Character, Change their Size, or Move them from the Stage: Tap & drag a character to move, pinch out to enlarge, pinch in to reduce, and double-tap to change direction. Tap & drag actor out of area of backdrop to remove them from a scene.
  5. How to Record, Pause, & Stop: Tap Record (red circle). You can Pause (2 vertical parallel lines) in between scenes, Tap Stop (white square) when finished. Click Play (green triangle) to preview. If you are satisfied with the quality of your show, you are ready to Save.
  6. How to Save: Tap Save (looks like old-school 3.5 inch disk). Type a title in the space provided. Tap Save.
  7. How to Export: When you launch the app, tap “Saved Shows”. You will be presented with an option to “Export”. Your show will be saved in the video section of your camera roll, photo app that looks like a sunflower.
  8. How to Upload to YouTube or Email: From your camera roll, locate the video. Tap the rectangle with the arrow in the upper right hand corner. You will have the option to email the video (many videos may be too large for this option), send it to YouTube (will have to sign in to an account), or copy the video. If none of these options seem to work, you can always pull the videos off the device when you sync your iPad to your designated computer.
Screenshot from PuppetPals

Possible Topics for Puppet Pals (without Director’s Pass)

  1. Illustrate a vocabulary word, math problem, or scientific concept
  2. Recreate a story in a different setting
  3. Apply today’s government and economic structure to that of the Wild West
  4. Create a news story (interview a character or a witness)
  5. Illustrate a poem (include various elements of figurative language: simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, idioms, cliches) or practice rhyme scheme & meter
  6. Write a story using a certain number of prepositional phrases, adverbs, adjectives, etc…
  7. Create a story to illustrate humor or another emotion or depict sarcasm or irony (verbal, dramatic, situational) or even a paradox
  8. Create a story to illustrate word play & literary techniques (spoonerisms, wellerisms, rhetoric,puns,
  9. Create a story to narrate conflict or climax
  10. Create a story that is a biographical retelling of a historical figure from the era (or a historical fiction account) – check out Time Warp Trio for some great extensions and ideas (also has an Old West section) to spice up your show.
  11. Create a talk show to have various characters share their story or debate a topic.

Tech Camp Assignment: Choose 1 of the following show ideas:

  • Option A: Create a Puppet Pal Show using the existing characters and backdrops that highlights at least 3 idioms, 3 prepositions, 1 metaphor, and 1 simile. Export your show (as a video) so others can see it.
  • Option B: Create a Puppet Pals Show using at least 2 one-syllable rhyming words, 2 two or three-syllable rhyming words, 2 idioms, and 2 alliterations.

You may use the resources highlighted here to assist you with your show: Idiom Dictionary, Idiom Site, Rhymezone, Ryhmer, The Preposition, Your Dictionary: Alliteration, Your Dictionary: Similes & Metaphors, Metaphors.

Director’s Pass: If you have the director’s pass, you not only have a plethora of characters and backgrounds to choose from (Arthropod Armada, Christmas, Entertainers, Fair Weather Friends, Fairytale, Monsters, On the Farm, Pirates, Political Partay, Talk Shows, Thanksgiving, Wild West, and Zombie Attack) but also the ability to add actor(s) and background(s) from your photo collection (either images you have taken or images saved from the internet). These images can be cropped to create your own puppets.

Check out other apps like it: Toontastic

There is also a great children’s book series that is useful to illustrate idioms: More Parts and Even More Parts by Tedd Arnold (Say What You Mean Please Lesson). Teachers may even want to have students create a table of figurative & literal idiom meanings prior to the activity.

©2011. Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce for classroom use granted.

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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in ELAR, HOT APPS for HOTS, iPad


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Appy Hour: ELAR App-Teasers

Appy Hour will provide you with a fast-paced introductory approach to FREE apps that are appropriate for secondary students. App-teasers for ELAR will be sampled. After this class you will think beyond the concept of an App as simply being a game – you will leave with a menu of appealing concrete lesson ideas you can serve as soon as you are back with your students! An iPad with all required apps will be included for use during the duration of the class.

Jog iTunes with Me

iPad Lessons ©2011. Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce for classroom use granted

ELAR Appy Tour (Jog the Web Tour)

app_happy_elar (Menu of ELAR Apps Sampled)

See iPad Lessons for more ELAR examples.

See ELAR Podcasts for a starter list of podcasts.

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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Appy Hour, ELAR, iPad


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Podcasts 4 ELAR/Language/Library

Our Web 2.0 Part 2 Moodle course provided some wonderful discussion on useful Math podcasts. Why reinvent the wheel? Here are some of the resources (with descriptions) that were provided from teachers enrolled in the course. Use these as mini lessons, reviews, independent study pieces, or to clear up common misconceptions. 

  • Grammar Girl: This is a must!!!!
  • Storynory: This podcast has a bunch of poems and stories that are auditory. Many of my students sadly, don’t have books at home, this is a way they can get the exposure and enjoyment of literature just by clicking the link.When looking through the podcasts in Storynory, I saw that they had The Wizard of Oz, which is on my student’s reading list, broken down by chapter. The podcasts here are almost like an audio book. The chapters are each read aloud on the podcast. This would be a great way to keep students who are frequently absent caught up. I could post the podcast in my wiki for each chapter. Students could listen to the chapter if they are home sick
  • Sweet and Sassy Summer of girls fiction: This is a podcast for girls that has some storytelling activities geared towards girls, voiced by girls my students ages. It gives great ideas abot novels and literature that I can use to interest some of my girls especially over the summer, almost like a reading camp for them during the down time.
  • Book Voyages: This is a podcast dedicated to introduction of new books and poems geared towards kids my students age.  I am hoping to encourage them to listen to the podcast over the summer, by getting them to check it out in May, and using it regularly. (Also check out Horn Book Podcast & Authors Without Limits).
  • Coffee Break Spanish: This podcast will help me because I’m certified in Spanish, but I’m not currently teaching Spanish. So it can keep me up to date and practicing/reviewing the language daily.  I wouldn’t use it instructionally (at this moment), but could be used to connect with Spanish speaking students and parents. (Also check out Discover Spanish, Finally Learn Spanish)
  • English Grammar in Context:  will serve as that extra grammar practice, or perhaps the reteach that sometimes needs to take place.  Again, individual station work or as additional work at home.
  • One Voice from Africa: is a news program connecting Africa and America.  I will use it for listening practice as well as just current information.  I have several African students and this will provide some intrinsic motivation for learning as they have great interest in what is happening back home.
  • Meet the Author: is a podcast for the students. Students can listen to interviews of different authors to find out about what inspired them to start writing, hear about the characters in the books and learn facts about the author.
  • American English Pronunciation: is pronunciation practice and I will be using it for stations or as homework for my students.  It provides private practice and allows some flexible learning in my classroom.
  • Books on the Nightstand: is a blog about books, authors, and reviews of books. It is beneficial to both me and the student because it has suggestions for what to read next, books that are related to each other by theme or author, and information about authors. Instructionally, for me personally, I am always looking for fun interesting picture books to share with my family. For students, it would help them choose a book.
  • Radio WillowWeb: This podcast database is something that we’ve used in our previous assignments as an example for podcasting.  I struggled to find ideas for how to use podcasting with my first graders. This podcast subscription is great for me because it helps me get ideas for my own classroom and gives me a guide for formatting.  It works well for my students because it allows them to learn from other students and they can use it as a model of expectation for their own podcasts.  I used this for my students’ assignment.  We are about to study sound in the upcoming weeks and I found a podcast on Sound created by third graders for my students to listen to and record one thing they learned about. I thought it would be a great introduction.
  • Super Why! PBS Kids: this is a breakthrough preschool series designed to help kids ages 3 to 6 with the critical skills that they need to learn to read (and love to read!) SUPER WHY makes reading an empowering adventure by using interactive literacy games that need YOU to play. I think this resource will be great for my students, especially in the beginning of the year when many of them are still lacking the basic, fundamental reading and phonics skills.
  • Just Vocabulary: I am always looking for new ways to introduce new vocabulary to my students. This podcast presents two new words per episode. I would post one podcast per week. The students would have the week to listen to the podcast and complete activities through the week. One might consist of posting a complete sentence using each vocabulary word to the wiki.
  • Vocabulary and Oral Language Development: Vocabulary and language development are key in kindergarten. I will be able to use this site to engage learning in both areas.
  • Audiobooks with Annie: Classic books from the public domain. She is currently reading Anne of Green Gables. This could be used as a station or during SSR time. Would also lend itself to booktalks on my wiki!
  • Kinder PODS- kindergarten: This podcast has great information pertaining to kindergarten.  There are examples of student work, music, students reading, and much more.  I’d love to have my students listen to a recording of kindergartener read, for example, the Hermit Crab by Eric Carle, as part of our Eric Carle study.
  • Kinderkids: This is a podcast from a kindergarten class in New Hampshire. This subscription can give me ideas to use in my own classroom, as well as offer a great way to share what other kindergartners are doing in another state.  Having my students listen to their podcasts would not only be entertaining, but give my own students ideas for contributing to our own podcasts.
  • BigStoryTime: This podcast has lots of short stories for kiddos on varying topics.  There is a story called “I Love My Mommy” that I will have my students listen to before we start working on our Mother’s Day projects this week.  I’ll post the link to my blog and then have my students finish the sentence stem “I love my mommy because….”
  • Cody’s Cuentos: Has stories in Spanish to listen to online. This is exactly what I need in my dual language classroom which will help with developing better listening skills especially when their is a lack of bilingual material in our classroom.
  • Candlelight Stories: Listening to a variety of stories when books and/or parents or older siblings are not available to help them read, or read to the child. We can listen to a variety of stories through these podcasts, on all different types: fables/folk tales/fairy tales. This blended perfectly with our reading unit we just wrapped up in first grade.
  • The Reading Workshop: this podcast will be beneficial for me by keeping me connected to reading and good ways to implement this into my teaching and curriculum. I will use this by adding these strategies into my daily teaching.
  • How to Videos: are mini blogs about how to act in various situations. These are british, and so much fun. They are beneficial to students through role playing different social situations and showing exactly how to handle each. An example is “how to pay a compliment” and “how to decline an invitation.” I would have these available to students on the Library Resource page under the heading “Handling Yourself in Society.” These would also be great for adults. (also check out Elementary Podcast & Big City Small World & I Want to Talk About)
  • Modern Manners Guy: This is a fun podcast. Some of the podcasts are more directed for high school/adults so I would have to find which ones apply to the middle school level.  I teach social skills (all of my students happen to be male) and many have autism so this would be a fun way to teach them manners and social skills. (also check out Manners for the Digital Age)

Also check out Sesame Street Podcast (video episodes where muppets & celebrity guests explaining the meaning of words), Children’s Fun Storytime Podcast, 123 Listen 2 Me (review books, movies,and music), Graphic Organizer Tools, Bookwink, Children’s Fun Storytime, The Lost World, A Tale of Two Cities, Alice in WonderlandThe Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, B&N Meet the Writers, The Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf, ESL Library & English as a Second Language, Prometheus Radio Theater, Recess Stories: A Web Series for Kids, and Librivox: Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter.

Also check out the Escondido iRead Program (iRead in iTunes) for information on how podcasts and vodcasts can be used to support and improve the reading process. iPod, iListen, iRead is another great article to support the success of iPods and reading skills.

Many of these podcasts listed can be used as a stand alone or as an example/inspiration for student and/or teacher podcast production.

Some of these podcasts can be subscribed to which will feed into iTunes, others can be saved as an audio or movie file and imported into iTunes, and some are even bundled as an app. Please post others you find in the comments section along with a description and/or how they can be used.

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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in ELAR, iPad, Podcasts


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The Tree Doth Giveth

Hasn’t the tree given us enough? Go paperless on your next project!

It is that time of year when many schools are working on projects. Here are a few ways you can incorporate Web 2.0 tools in conjunction with the study of personification, simile, and metaphor. All of these tools focus on the tree as inspiration.

Big Huge Labs: Upload an image to create a magazine cover. Create a dialogue or poem to overlay on top of the image.

Tagxedo: Compose a poem and choose a color, theme, layout, shape etc… Tagxedo will give emphasis tow words (Tagxedo_instructions)

Pizap: Upload an image and add text and speech bubbles to it.

Images can be captured by students or taken from copyright free image sites like Pics4Learning & Morgue File.

While most of these sites do not require copyright attribution, it is always a good practice to do so. Since all of these sites do not auto-save or edit text, it is a good idea to write text in another program (Word, Pages, Text File) and copy & paste into tool.

All 3 sites have no required login and have the ability to easily save images as a jpeg for later use in another work.

Have students compose their poem on a word processor, create an accompanying image using one of the 3 Web 2.0 tools listed, and save it as a PDF. Compile the PDF’s to create a class poetry book using Flip Snack (see iPad Lesson section for example & instructions).

Ethemes offers a list of sites that provide lessons and interactives for writing similes & metaphorspersonification.

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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in ELAR, Interactive, Web 2.0


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